St. Vincent Ferrer: Angel of the Judgment

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Publisher: TAN Books
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Format: Paperback
Pages: 205

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Commissioned by Our Lord Himself to preach His Gospel, St. Vincent began at age 50 an apostolate of preaching that would extend to France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and a few other countries as well. Travelling with him were as many as 10,000 people, including at least 50 priests. The throngs that gathered to hear him came from many miles around, such that he was forced to preach in the open--no church being large enough to hold all the people. Impr. 205 pgs, 12 Illus., PB
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overwhelming hagiography

I was named after Saint Vincent Ferrer, and it has always been a great point of pride with me. I’m very proud of the achievements listed off by this saint, and wouldn’t avoid bragging about him to other people, partly because I have always believed Saint Vincent to be incredibly underrated given his level of holiness and how many souls he brought to the Faith. I’m very appreciative of the author’s enumeration of all of Saint Vincent’s great deeds.

With that being said, this book was difficult to get through. The author constantly overwhelms you with his glorification of the saint, to the point where it makes for a very tedious read after a while. I have not encountered this type of approach before. For me, it was distracting, and it hurt the author’s credibility in my eyes. We all know St. Vincent Ferrer was amazing, and indeed I expect an account of him to be amazing. But saying things like this person’s face exudes intelligence, modesty, calmness, majesty, sanctity, and virtue… it’s just a bit much.

The biggest detriment of this style is that it makes Saint Vincent hard to relate to. He is portrayed as being sublimely perfect in every way. He even did miracles from the womb. Other biographies of saints I enjoyed very much on a human level. There were some frailties, suffering, or weakness that hindered them and was great cause for mortification. Or there were sins that they labored over and atoned for. And in a way that inspired you because you felt that greatness is in fact possible!

If you like hagiographies---biographies that idealize their subjects---then you will enjoy this book. This was my first taste of a hagiography and from this I learned it’s not really my thing.


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